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Heather Von St. James

Heather Von St. James

In 2005, at the age of 36, and only three months after giving birth to a beautiful daughter Lily Rose, Heather Von St. James was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma. Upon learning of this life-altering diagnosis, Heather, together with her husband Cameron, embarked upon a search to find the best mesothelioma treatment care available. Their search eventually led them to Dr. David Sugarbaker, a renowned mesothelioma surgeon at the Boston based Brigham and Women's hospital. Dr. Sugarbaker recommended a relatively new surgical procedure called extrapleural pneumonectomy, a groundbreaking treatment option offered through the International Mesothelioma Program. Although there were some risks associated with the procedure, it also carried promise for the best possible outcome. Heather, with full support from her husband and family, agreed to have the surgery.

Today, Heather Von St. James is a ten-year mesothelioma cancer survivor and continues to provide unending inspiration to mesothelioma victims around the globe. She carries out her mission to be a beacon of hope for those afflicted with mesothelioma by sharing her story of faith, love and courage both as a keynote speaker at conferences and through social media forums.
Beating the Odds: One Woman's Story of Survivorship

Life as I knew it changed very drastically in 2005. Not once, but twice. 

In August 2005, I gave birth to my beautiful daughter, Lily Rose. She was a true blessing, and my husband Cameron and I could not have been more excited. Three months in, we were still learning the ropes of parenthood; so excited and so blessed. The only problem was that I felt absolutely awful. I was losing weight, I couldn’t breathe... I knew something was wrong.

In November of 2005, I got my diagnosis: mesothelioma. Malignant pleural mesothelioma, to be specific. My husband saw the terror in my eyes when the words came from the doctor's mouth. From researching online, you can quickly find out that the prognosis of mesothelioma is grim. Most patients are given about 15 months to live after diagnosis. I knew that I couldn’t be a part of that statistic. I needed to beat this.